Set in the bleak suburbs of Zagreb, this sobering, slow-burn domestic drama shows an impressive rigor in the economy and austerity with which it observes the rippling aftereffects of senseless violence in a world of bureaucratic indifference.
Inspired by real events, the story concerns mild-mannered bus driver Ivo (Emir Hadzihafizbegovic) and his wife, Maja (Jasna Zalica), who live modestly in a drab apartment with their typically sullen and distant 17-year-old son, Tomica (Hrvoje Vladisavljevic). (…) Tomica declines to come out of his room when he returns home after a late night. When he does finally emerge, his bloodied, bruised face reveals he’s taken a severe beating.
The performances of Hadzihafizbegovic and Zalica are quite wrenching (…). The couple is too stunned at first to react to what’s happening, and too conditioned in their roles as good, law-abiding citizens to question whether doctors and hospital staff are giving them all the information they need.
The film’s steady accretion of pathos is rendered all the more powerful by its understatement. When Ivo seeks his own vigilante justice, it’s with quiet resolve and what seems like borderline disbelief at the discovery that such steps are his only recourse.
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
Director Ognjen Sviličić will attend the screenings of These are the Rules at Kinopalatsi 8 on 20th of September at 6.30 PM and at Kinopalatsi 6 on the 21st of September at 4 PM.